It was a hot summer’s evening, a buzzing Friday night at McCarren Park. Almost 20 women toed the track’s line at the southwest edge of the park, spectators made their way on the turf to the 200 meter marker. A gun fired. High-cadence footfalls padded into the ground. They were off.
So began the 2019 McCarren Park Track Classic, in partnership with Brooklyn Running Company, Tracksmith, and Brooklyn Athletic Club, on July 12 at 6:15. Dozens of participants, volunteers, and supporters from teams across the NYC running scene collected to celebrate speed, spikes, and sportsmanship. It was a great night to run.
The women’s mile, sponsored by Tracksmith, kicked off the night with an exciting display of pack running and smart pacing by the top 3 runners. Nicolette St. Lawrence of Distance Project NYC won out with a time of 5:23.7, holding off on making her move until the finishing kick. Linda Daniels of Distance Project took second, with a blazing 5:31.2, and NBR’s own Kaitlyn DiBello came in third, with a 5:32.7.
Three heats of the men’s mile followed, fast and fierce, with 32 entrants. NBR’s Alex Hoyt absolutely crushed it with a 4:26.7, easily coming through the finish first for the win. NBR’s Scott Easey came in second with a 4:32.9, racing strategically to close the gap in the bell lap, and ultimately overtaking John Butler (third with a 4:36.8) with about 200 meters to go.
The two heats that followed were equally nail-biting, and were also filled with wonderful community moments. Members of the soccer teams that play on McCarren Park’s turf inner-track each night even came to join the fun, both in the mile race itself and as a group loudly cheering and supporting their teammates who made their way through the course. The energy was palpable.
Photos by Drew Reynolds
With the miles concluded, it was on to the relays: a women’s 4x400 race, a men’s 4x400 race, and a co-ed race. NBR teammates, past and present, gathered for the event, and the impressive results showed—it was competition and camaraderie at its height. The sun was on its way down and crowds began to collect in even larger numbers,
The women’s 4x400, which started off the relay portion of the meet, was stacked with three teams from NBR: Team Wombat, the Mourning Doves, and the Kaboose Crew. All three teams flew through the finish, gracefully handing off the colorful batons as they completed their respective legs. Team Wombat (NBR’s Becca Ades and Kaitlyn DiBello, who doubled down from the mile, as well as Sara Heegaard and Gabby Tofig), gave an incredible performance with a time of 4:44.1.
The Doves, a group of women who’ve run together on NBR for years—even as they’ve moved through different stages of life and running—came back together in a historic moment for this event. Their account of the race is below.
Leg 1: Marie Barnett:
"This race could only be awesome and fun, because it was with 3 incredible teammates and women that I learn from every day. I had no idea what to expect in my first race 13 weeks after having a baby, but my goal was to enjoy it and have fun passing off to Rebecca... and giving it my best trying to keep up with Becca Ades! What a blast realizing I could still move my legs with some speed and could still feel the joy of jelly legs in the last 100 meters as Rebecca was dancing her way through the handoff."
Leg 2: Rebecca Turnbull:
"What running means to me seems to change from year to year. After a couple years running through injury and pregnancy, this year running meant dying in the last 100 and peeing myself. It also meant my husband handing me our eight month old who just learned to clap at the finish line. I'm still grateful every day for this sport and our community.”
Leg 3: Miriam Beyer:
"As I came out of the last turn, my only real thought was: Don't crash into your pregnant teammate. Ever clumsy, I could see myself getting anxious about the handoff, losing my footing and toppling dramatically into Sue - taking out not only our relay anchor, but NBR’s president! I focused, concentrated very hard on my form and successfully passed the baton to Sue. Exxxxxhale. Go Sue!"
Leg 4: Sue Walsh
"Right before the race, as all races I've done while I'm pregnant, I'm like "Why am I doing this?" The answer is to run with friends and celebrate that running is possible, no matter what else your body is doing–like growing brain cells and muscles and skin for a little baby inside you. You gotta embrace the motto 'Allow yourself to change' if you run when you're pregnant. I was 28 weeks at the race and I think I ran about my marathon PR pace (7:50 minute mile) for the 400, even though that's only 1/104 of the marathon distance. But all of the cheers and the love and the high fives and the friendship and this great team, NBR, make it totally worth it."
Following the women’s relay was the men’s relay, which proved similarly exhilarating. The NBR Men, a group of four dynamos on our Local Competitive Team (including Men’s Mile winner, Alex Hoyt), blitzed through each 400 at breakneck speed and culminated in an unreal 3:38.8.
Last came the coed relay, which comprised four teams, all within NBR. The healthy competition and sheer joy that was experienced by all who participated was so apparent. The aptly named team, You Need to Calm Down (everyone was really excited that night) came through the finish with an impressive 4:35.9, and team Ryan Pattie’s Butt closely followed with a speedy 4:59.7. No matter the results, though, an enormous amount of fun was had throughout the night.
We can’t wait to do it again next year.
See all the participants, teams, and results below:
Women’s Mile sponsored by Tracksmith
Nicolette St. Lawrence, Distance Project NYC, 5:23.7
Linda Daniels, Distance Project NYC, 5:31.6
Kaitlin DiBello, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:32.7
Sarah Mallory, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:35.3
Becca Ades, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:42.0
Katherine Edwards, Dashing Whippets, 5:44.7
Eva Sturgeon, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:49.7
Jess Jones, North Brooklyn Runners, 6:14.6
Connie Allen, North Brooklyn Runners, 6:26.6
Jeanina Encizo, North Brooklyn Runners, 6:27.4
Phylicia Cannon, Strides NYC, 6:38.1
Caroline Olkowski, Strides NYC, 6:42.8
Annie Noltig, North Brooklyn Runners, 7:07.8
Isabelle Spies, 7:24.4
Ilona Wisniewska, North Brooklyn Runners, 7:53.8
Louise O'Neill, North Brooklyn Runners, 7:54.7
Linda Chan, Prospect Park, 12:10.0
Men’s Mile sponsored by Tracksmith
Alex Hoyt, North Brooklyn Runners, 4:26.7
Scott Easey, North Brooklyn Runners, 4:32.9
John Butler, 4:36.8
Jay Schaibhum, North Brooklyn Runners, 4:41.5
Garen Riedel, 4:42.7
Nicolas Adams, North Brooklyn Runners, 4:44.5
Jerry Faulkner, NYAC, 4:46.8
Taylor Burmeister, 4:47.1
Noah Deveraux, Prospect Park, 4:47.5
Oran Bambrick, 4:54.6
Xavier Negron, 4:56.1
Toby Zitsman, North Brooklyn Runners, 4:57.2
John McElroy, 5:04.2
Sean Quealy, Prospect Park, 5:04.2
Jim Iseman, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:06.3
Mike Fosco, Dashing Whippets, 5:07.0
Sam Buraj, Fort Greene, 5:13.5
Marvin Yang, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:15.1
Corey Morenz, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:16.8
Bryan Kim, 5:19.6
Benjamin Lazo, 5:21.1
Logan Yu, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:21.4
Julian Rosow, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:21.9
David Dorsey, Central Park Track Club, 5:22.3
Matthew White, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:23.0
Billy Barone, Dashing Whippets, 5:23.5
Corey Hanson, Queens Distance Runners, 5:23.7
Rob Sabotnik, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:34.5
Jose Buitrago, 5:35.9
Mahir Rahman, North Brooklyn Runners, 5:39.8
Juan Carbowal, 5:50.5
Erik Tatrom, FrontRunners NY, 5:56.6
Marek Stepriowski, DDRC, 5:59.6
Steven Gerardi, North Brooklyn Runners, 6:00.8
Marco D'Addezio, 6:01.7
Trey Beddingfield, FrontRunners NY, 6:02.7
Sascha Wittler, North Brooklyn Runners, 6:11.0
Vikram Singh, Queens Distance Runners, 6:12.6
Brendan Loffus, North Brooklyn Runners, 6:17.5
C.K. Tang, 6:18.6
Pedro Rodriguez, 6:56.8
Cliff Frasier, North Brooklyn Runners, 7:28.6
Women’s 4x400m Relay
Team Wombat, 4:44.1
Kabose Crew, 6:11.8
Men’s 4x400m Relay
NBR Men, 3:38.8
FrontRunners NY, 4:17.4
Summer Knights, 4:19.3
Lonely Boyz, 4:20.8
Data Dawg, 4:24.5
Beer Hunter, 4:24.8
Foolish Elders, 4:41.7
Coed 4x400m Relay
You Need to Calm Down, 4:35.9
Ryan Patty's Butt, 4:59.7
Beauty Crew, 5:01.9
NBR Board, 5:18.7